Shortbread Cookies

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As a child, I remember the sweet aroma of shortbread cookies wafting through our home during festive seasons. My mother was renowned in our community for her cookie-making skills, and no gathering was complete without a plate of her classic shortbread. Neighbors would often stop by, with the excuse of “just saying hello,” secretly hoping they’d be offered a cookie or two.Years later, during a neighborhood potluck, I decided to recreate my mother’s recipe. The moment those familiar scents started to permeate the room, faces lit up with recognition. It wasn’t just a cookie; it was a bite of childhood, a fragment of memory, a taste of nostalgia.

How to Prepare Classic Shortbread Cookies


  • 2 cups of butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla essence
  • 4 cups of fine all-purpose flour


  1. Assemble all your ingredients.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  3. In a mixing bowl, whip together butter and sugar until they’re creamy and well-blended.
  4. Fold in the vanilla essence.
  5. Gradually incorporate the flour, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  6. Use a cookie press or a rolling pin to shape the cookies. If using a rolling pin, roll the dough and use a cookie cutter for desired shapes.
  7. Place the formed cookies on non-stick baking sheets, keeping a space of about 1.5 inches between each.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until you notice a light golden hue on the edges.
  9. Once baked, let them rest on the baking sheets for about 2 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks thereafter.

What’s the Origin of Shortbread Cookies?

Shortbread cookies have their roots in Scotland. They’re traditionally made with butter, sugar, and flour without any leavening agents, resulting in their distinct crumbly texture.

Can I Add a Twist to These Cookies?

Of course! Feel free to experiment by adding almond essence for a unique taste or mixing in chocolate bits or nuts. You can also beautify them with sprinkles or dip in different types of chocolate.

How Do I Store These Cookies?

Keep your shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, and they’ll stay fresh for up to a week. For longer freshness, pop them in the refrigerator where they can last up to 10 days.

Is Freezing an Option?

Yes, you can definitely freeze your shortbread cookies. Once they’re completely cooled, place them in a zip-lock bag or sealed container. If stacking, remember to place parchment paper between layers. They can be frozen for up to three months.

How Do I Thaw Frozen Shortbread Cookies?

If you’ve frozen the cookies, the best way to thaw them is to transfer them to the refrigerator overnight.

Why Are My Cookies Too Hard?

If your shortbread cookies turn out too hard, it might be because of over-baking. Always keep an eye out for that golden edge to ensure they remain soft and crumbly.


Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 2 cups butter softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Stir in vanilla; add flour and mix well until combined.
  • Fill cookie press with the dough and form cookies onto two ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just starting to turn golden brown.
  • Remove the cookie sheets from the oven, and set them on a wire cooling rack for 2 minutes. Then transfer the shortbread cookies to the rack to cool completely.

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